“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. –C.S. Lewis
I often think about what it would be like to walk alongside Christ. What if he knocked on my door and asked to go for a walk, or what if He came into the house and sat on our couch? I wish that I could experience Him in the way that the apostles did while they spent time with Him before His ascension into Heaven, the way that the individuals encountered Him on the Road to Emmaus.
While I often imagine what these happenings would be like I am simultaneously wondering if I would truly believe Christ was physically present with me, would my heart be on fire due to His presence, or would I need proof of His presence by touching His side and wounds like St. Thomas the Apostle did?
St. Thomas said he would not believe Christ had appeared to the rest of the apostles unless he could see Christ’s wounds and put his hand into Christ’s side. How often do we doubt God’s presence and power in our own lives, wanting physical signs of God? I tend to pray for signs, even though I know God does not want me to test Him – rather He wants me to trust with an open heart all of His promises. How do we let our soul ascent to the Heavens rather than let our hearts get stuck in the mud? The answer lies in the Sacraments that God has given us in the Church.
God knows that as humans we need our senses to be engaged so that we can be further drawn into the mysteries of our faith. When you have trouble believing in God’s presence look to the sacraments. God gives us a physical sign of His love through the graces He provides in the sacraments instituted by Christ. While it takes a great leap of faith to believe in the sacraments, who God is, and all that the Church teaches we must remember that the road to Heaven is narrow and will ask great things of us. God sent His only Son to help us walk this narrow path with an open heart and faith in Christ’s promises. If we look to the life of Christ on earth we can be more assured than ever of the truth of who God really is: Shepherd, Bread of Life, the Lamb, and the Light.
No matter the trials we face in believing in God and all of His promises He walks gently beside us through our times of disbelief and doubt, desiring for us to reach out and ask for help when we have trouble trusting in His goodness. The trials we face of unbelief help us to rely more upon our Lord, and ultimately the times we stumble make the triumphs in faith so much sweeter, increasing our strength on our faith journey towards sainthood.
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. –St. Augustine
Nathalie Shultz is a joyful convert to the Catholic faith and a competitive swimmer with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She loves to share her passion for Catholicism with others, including her conversion story and how God continues to work miracles in her life through her OCD. Nathalie is married to her best friend, Tommy Shultz. Her favorite saints include St. Peter the Apostle, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and St. John Paul II. She is also a huge fan of C.S. Lewis. If you have any questions for Nathalie, or just want her to pray for you, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.